Monday, December 28, 2015

no rush

the animals are fed and watered
and let out to stretch and flap
and go about their daily business
the wood rack is full
the freezer is full
there is plenty in the gardens
the snow melts at its own pace
there's no rush
it's okay to have sunday bacon on monday

Sunday, December 27, 2015

splitting wood

falling axe
the sharp crack of splitting wood
snow rests quietly
on the ground

Friday, December 25, 2015

merry christmas

it's shaping up to be a glorious day...

wishing you all a very merry christmas from the staal homestead.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


all the rain we've had got our little creek running.  it's the first time we've seen any water in it since we've been living here.  staal and zane and i spent some time enjoying it this afternoon.

still coming down

the rain that began sometime overnight sunday is still coming down.  it's been light and steady and mostly soaking into the ground. 

the ducks are loving all the water (and mud).

Monday, December 21, 2015

winter solstice

the winter solstice marks the new year for me.  it is the beginning of the return of the sun.  it was raining when i woke this morning around 6:30.  it rained all day.  it is just after 6pm now and it is still raining.  it's a beautiful way to start the new year in these hills that have been thirsty for so long. 
i am definitely a sun worshiper.  staal calls me a heliotrope because he so often finds me basking in any sliver of sunshine available.  i look forward to the warming and lengthening days but for now i'm grateful for the wet winter even if it is a bit cold and gray.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

duck yard gates

i started building the gates for the duck yard.  i will need a total of three, two for the covered part of the yard and one for the pasture area.  i got one built today but still need to staple wire to it and pick up some hinges and latches at the hardware store.
i used 2x4s with lap joints.  i've had good results building gates this way so i figured i'd stick to what works for me. 

the 4x4 gate posts are a bit twisted and bowed which means the gate opening is not exactly square so instead of building a nice square gate i built it to fit the opening.

one down, two to go.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

wade "whimsies"

i received a thoughtful gift from a thoughtful lady.  

an adorable little ducky made by wade england pottery in burslem, england.  these tiny figurines are known as wade "whimsies".  the graded bottom, which has become a trademark of the wade "whimsies", was sometimes used as a striker to light matches in pubs and for starting the fire in kitchen stoves.  

 red rose tea began giving the popular collectibles away in 1967

holiday cheer

thank you, mama

Monday, December 7, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

just right

his kind and loving heart
his smile
the way he always gets my eggs just right

Thursday, December 3, 2015

duck yard progress

i spent a few days putting up a little framing for the enclosed part of the duck yard and getting the wire stapled to the 4x4 posts and the framing that runs across the top of the enclosure.  today i started digging a trench around the perimeter so that i can run some old corrugated metal roofing from the base of the fence into the ground to make the enclosure more resistant to digging predators. 

the nerds came to help

Friday, November 27, 2015


today's weather forecast showed a 0% chance of precipitation.  we just had a fair amount of hail come down---enough to turn everything white.  as hail goes it was pretty benign.  it was like little, pointy snowballs, not the hard, icy spheres i'm used to calling hail.

the ducks were pretty excited by all the little white balls jumping around on the ground and started running around eating them.

zane likes to catch it in the air like he does with snow.

i think i'm going to count this as some form of snow rather than hail.  the texture and coverage was far more snowlike than hail.  i can understand why the inuit people have so many words for snow.  it doesn't only come down in pretty little flakes.  

time to put another log on the fire.